Open Letter to Theodore McCarrick

St Matthews Cathedral

Don’t know where to send this. But here it is…

Dear Father in God and brother priest,


I stood holding the processional cross, right next to you, when you pressed the crucifix to your lips at the door of St. Matthew’s Cathedral. Then we all marched down the aisle, and you took possession of the episcopal throne, on January 3, 2001.

You had no right.

On behalf of the priests you ordained, I say to you: You had no right. You had no right to be the one to whom we made our promises. You had no right to be the one to lay your hands on us to consecrate us.

You had no right to be the one to give us our first assignments. You had no right to give us advice.

You had no right to make any of us Washington priests do Forward in Faith. You had no right to ask us to hold up your tired arms, like Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ arms. You had no right to take advantage of our good will, and our faith in God and His Church.

On behalf of the young people you confirmed, I say to you: You had no right. You had no right to be the one to confirm any of them.

On the day you put the crucifix to your lips at the door of St. Matthew’s, you should have been where you are now. You should have come clean long, long ago. You did not belong in the tv lights. Your name does not belong on any buildings. Your name belongs in an ignominious footnote in the history of the Holy Church in the USA.

That’s where it belonged on January 3, 2001. But you wouldn’t live in the truth. Instead, you inflicted upon us this excruciating wound–the eviscerating fact of our Archbishop’s utter hypocrisy. We have to bear that wound now.

You had no right. But we will get over it.

Come clean now. Admit every detail of the truth. To God, and then to everyone you have hurt.

Admit the truth. Live in it. And be free.


Your son and your brother, Mark White


24 thoughts on “Open Letter to Theodore McCarrick

  1. John 8:7

    7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, ” Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

    “O Lord, show Your mercy to me and gladden my heart. I am like the man on the way to Jericho who was overtaken by robbers, wounded and left for dead. O Good Samaritan, come to my aid. I am like the sheep that went astray. O Good Shepherd, seek me out and bring me home in accord with Your will. Let me dwell in Your house all the days of my life and praise You for ever and ever with those who are there. Amen.”
    St. Jerome

    Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.

    In all things, always turn to God, especially when your feelings are less than holy!

  2. And may I add: “Your legacy will be, besides the trauma suffered by the direct victims of your perversions, the loss of faith of thousands of souls due to your scandalous life. We will entrust their eternal salvation to the mercy of God and you shall not escape the judgement. Repent.”

  3. Exactly what the laity have been saying to priests and bishops for decades, only to be labeled unfaithful. Sadly, I believe the cover ups will continue.

  4. Thank you, father. As a former seminarian who was sexually abused by my own religious superiors, you’ve given voice to my own sentiments.
    It has also done my heart a great deal of good to hear a priest as outraged as I am with these injustices.
    Bless you.

  5. I am embarrassed that a brother priest would spew such judgment. Is this how he would respond to a sinner in the confessional? Where is God’s Divine Mercy in this missive? The sins are certainly objectively heinous and the sinner’s guilt appears undeniably true. But how does this kind of condemnation reflect the mercy of Christ on the cross who begged his Father to forgive those who were killing him? Instead of putting ourselves in the place of God and judging so harshly , would it not be more becoming of anyone baptized to promote forgiveness and reconciliation instead of condemnation? “Have mercy on US, AND ON THE WHOLE WORLD, including McCarrick. Jesus commands us to love even our enemies. I’m having a hard time seeing this in this missive.

  6. I read once in a book; “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Can’t remember who said it but it fits here. Can’t agree with my brother priest about his hurts. Stuff happens. McCarrick got away with it for a long time. I never did what he did but like the thief on the cross we suffer justly for our crimes. Its McCarrick’s turn now. Your time will come. Lord have mercy on us all, including Ted. The mercy of God is all that matters in the end.

  7. As a brother priest, I say AMEN! If a priest is unable to confront unrepentant sinner who has done untold harm to the Body of Christ what use is he? Forgiveness is granted to those who ask, repent and show genuine contrition. The very fact that some would quote, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” is ironic. They are casting stones themselves, according to their own interpretation.

    Father Mark you hit the nail on the head.

  8. Comes a new follower from reading your letter on Twitter! God Bless yo, Father., and, all the suffering good priests living in this boiling cauldron of confusion caused by the Papa and his minions.

  9. As a ‘lay’ Irish person reading this letter, I would suspect that a lot of Irish priests would similarly identify with your sentiments Fr. Mark.

    I know as a lay person and Lay Carmelite (TOC) I feel very hurt at the damage that has been caused by some, but in similar ways I believe that the Holy Spirit will strengthen and enlighten us on our journey as we move forward, as we must.

    It’s our duty now, to learn from the past and rather than re live it, and to live our lives with both dignity and respect and in the service of our fellow human beings in Christ

    May Almighty God bless you and all priests and religious., in the service of Almighty God
    Patrick Mc Kenna

  10. Our first and foremost thoughts are with the victims of this abuse. We as a Church now share the pain and frustration publicly the pain and frustration these victims have suffered silently and in some cases ignored and denied.

    Secondly we should encourage Archbishop McCarrick to publicly show his contrition and take responsibility for his actions. We as a church of recovering sinners need to forgive him because it is for people like him and us that Jesus came to redeem. In fact all bishops and cardinals need to lead a night of prayer for their failure to first these victims and to us.We must remember that there is redemption for all. It is not until we take responsibility for our failings (bishops and cardinals) that we will be able to heal and grow from this cross.

    There needs to be a way victims can come forward privately and testify to a commission so that a vehicle may be in place for them to be heard and actions taken for any present or past transgressions.

  11. This is one of the two best responses. Simcha Fisher (sp?) also wrote a great post. As a parishioner for 35+ years at St Matthews, I think Card Wuerl owes it to us to come and hold an all-parish meeting where we can ask questions. This pervert was our shepherd! I’ll mention to Msgr Jamison but not hopeful. Francis would talk to us….

  12. The hypocrisy of people like Theodore McCarrick and mind sets of Fr. Timothy Navin and Eric Jensen are the reasons I will never join any christian organization. The idea that even the priesthood shouldn’t call the rotten apples to judgement is why the church is dismissed by so many. Simply put “If god cared these hypocrisies would not be tolerated.”

  13. Now that child abuse is out in the open, what about nun abuse? What about the sisters who have remained silent for decades? Some forced to have abortions to hide the crime. Do you honestly believe that this abuse only happened to helpless children? There are helpless nuns too.

  14. I agree that a priest must be compassionate to a repentant sinner who comes and asks forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. But as of August 23, I have not heard any words of repentance from former Cardinal McCarrick. According to news reports, he said that he doesn’t remember harming anyone. Now if those reports are not true, then former Cardinal McCarrick should correct them and affirm his heartfelt repentance because his actions caused grave scandal to the entire Church in addition to those whom he abused. Jesus says in Luke 12:48 “Everyone to whom much is given, of him much will be required. And to him whom men commit much they will demand more.” Since his actions did grave harm, he must take major steps to heal that harm. There is a well known Latin saying, “Corruptio optimi; pessima.” The corruption of the best is the worst.

    Father J A C

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